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Grain Free/Primal/Paleo for Spring!!!

post #1 of 237
Thread Starter 

I posted about gluten free, dairy free, soy free low glycemic in Healthy Eating and bluebirdmama told me about this thread but how it hasn't been active lately.  I'm here to revive it for spring!! 



post #2 of 237
Go Paleo!! I am still doing this and it is great. I have started eating non organic chicken since the budget is so tight but I just cannot splurge on grain right now. Atleast we can get grass fed beef since dh gets it from his job.

Any good recipes lately? I will post about my new way of cooking chicken later. Now I have to go cook something for the kiddos...
post #3 of 237
Thread Starter 

Can I ask a silly newbie question?  How much red meat do you eat?  I've always felt like I "should" be limiting our red meat but I have no idea why I feel I "should."  In reality:  I have a family who loves it, a DS who tends to be anemic, and access to cheap grass fed meat.  DH just shakes his head when I talk about limiting it.  I guess it's the former vegetarian in me. 


A former neighbor of mine raises hormone, chemical free grass fed beef and sells it for $2.54/lb.  It's not officially organic but it is.  Plus, you can't beat how he raises his cows from birth to death.  I've never seen such a respectful "kill" policy.  I just don't know how much red meat is too much.  I have access to good fish and can eat salmon all day every day but organic chicken is too spendy for me right now so we tend to eat chicken only once or twice a week.  We do eat a lot of turkey though.  But really:  it's a lot of red meat. 


Should I just purge my red meat guilt?



post #4 of 237

Can I join in?  We put DD on the GAPS diet about a month ago and I am on an elim. diet to figure out my nurslings allergies.  So, I would admit that we are not really grain-free by choice but I would love some support and ideas.


Kimberly, If you don't want all that grass-fed beef send some our way!  I would feel comfortable eating it several times a week.

post #5 of 237
I eat red meat just about every day and sometimes twice. It is all grass fed. My health has never been better. It used to bother me but now that I see how amazing I feel, I eat it without hesitation.
post #6 of 237

In light of all the "what do you spend" threads do you mind sharing?  This is all new to me and I feel like my grocery budget is a wild beast suddenly.

post #7 of 237
Thread Starter 

My red meat goes in spurts.  It seems like we eat it twice a day for 3 or 4 days and then don't eat it for a week or two.  I've personally never felt bad after eating a lot of red meat so I think I'll just shed my red meat guilt. 


As for food budget:  it's insane.  Truly insane.  I shop weekly.  On good weeks it is $90 and on bad it is $150.  That is just the grocery store.  I have my monthly Azure Order which I try to keep at $100 although my last order was $250!  I also spend about $50-80 at the health food store every other week. Plus farmers market and the meat company.  So let's just say $800/month on a good month and $1000 on a less good month. Egads!  That's a lot of money. It is the vast majority of my budget. 


I do everything myself and don't use prepackaged food and have tried to pare my food budget down but we HAVE to eat organic because of DD so I can't skimp or scrounge except the occasional non organic chicken. 


Ugh.  Food budget is one thing I need help with.  Looking forward to seeing what other budgets are. 


Edited by CCJWGM - 4/3/11 at 12:32am
post #8 of 237

I really like the idea of grain free, I don't know if I can handle the whole Paleo thing...I'm a little light weight on the meat...I love it, but my 20 plus years as a vegetarian/vegan comes back to haunt me and I find us eating more beans then anything else (cheapness factor...) My 3 month old has a sensitivity to gluten products in my milk, so I cut that out, which is totally fine by me...but I don't like the idea of all the starches and gums in gluten free baking. It just weirds me out. We do eat soaked grains, like rice and quinoa, often, but I would really like to rely less on grains and more on real foods- high nutrient density and all.  I desperately need some good menu ideas though...I don't feel like I have the time to be cooking all the time, but I would really like to eat well.

We have an great place to get organic pork, lamb, beef and occasionally chicken. We live right on the ocean too, so an endless supply of wonderful fish. Money is VERY VERY tight, however...

I'd love to see what others do...

post #9 of 237
I am embarrassed to say that for a family of 4, we spend now around $800 (maybe more) a month. It used to be around $500 or less before paleo. I had a great source for cheap bulk grain and we would eat it at every meal to stretch everything. In the summer food prices go down and we can grow stuff. No growing anything now with a foot of snow still left on the ground.
post #10 of 237

I'm glad to see this thread. I'm moving towards doing Paleo for at least a month or two to see how we do with it. My DD and I both have some food intolerances, mostly to grains, nuts, and legumes, so I'm going on an intensive gut-healing campaign over the next few months. I was a long-term vegetarian until a couple months ago, so moving towards eating so much meat is a huge change for me.


As for my grocery budget--argh. I used to spend about $300 a month when my family of three was eating a grain-heavy, mostly vegan diet. Now I'm having trouble keeping it under $500-600. Our overall budget is very tight, so I'm not too happy about spending so much on food. But since we have health issues that we're trying to heal, I feel like it's worth it.

post #11 of 237
Thread Starter 

I see a big difference in the food budgets of people who have allergies/intolerances and those who don't.  I cater to gluten, dairy, and soy free.  Sometimes it seems gluten and soy are in EVERYTHING.  Sometimes I get a little sad that I have to pay $7 for a silly bottle of mayo when everyone else gets it for so much less but at least I have my families health. 


redclover, the reason I'm going grain free is the starches and gums in GF left my blood sugar going haywire and my belly bloated.  I was feeling truly horrible.  I've recently gotten rid of all the starches and gums.  I mainly use almond flour now with a little bit of coconut flour. 


I personally would love not to cook all the time but I've given up on that.  I've just renamed the kitchen the "living room" since it seems to be where I am.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how not to cook all the time?  That is, other than eating out.  That's not an option here. 

post #12 of 237

OK, glad to hear I am not way off base with my budget.  I think we are at around 600 for DH,  very hungry DD and (nursing) me.  DD2 is just starting to eat little bits here and there.  Guess we will see how this month goes and I will talk to DH about adjusting.  It doesn't help that we are off all the big allergens too. I miss my eggs most of all.


I personally would love not to cook all the time but I've given up on that.  I've just renamed the kitchen the "living room" since it seems to be where I am.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how not to cook all the time?  That is, other than eating out.  That's not an option here.

Oh I hear you!  I love to cook but I feel like I am living in the kitchen!  I need to get my act together and make some things in bulk to freeze like taco meat for when we do taco bowls.  We are hoping to get an extra freezer this year which would make things sooo much easier and more affordable.  I think I would send DH out with the girls for the day and just cook, uninterrupted. 

post #13 of 237

I've been eating Paleo for about 4 months and never felt better. I just ran across this forum and thought I'd throw in my 2 cents on some additional resources that might help you answer some of your key paleo questions like "how much red meat?" or your 'average grocery bill': 


Paleohacks.com - A great & unique community of Paleo geeks based on reputation points for providing valuable answers to Paleo questions. It's my top reference for questions that I need a quick answer to- you post them at paleohacks and you will have multiple generally high quality answers within a couple hours.


Everydaypaleo.com - Sarah Fragoso- for a mother's take on going paleo with her entire family (she has a podcast as well)


panu.com - Dr Kurt Harris' scientific and down to earth take on Paleo- including a 12 step program to ease into Paleo.


Latestinpaleo.com - Angelo Coppola's site to accompany his awesome podcast- for a good overview on paleo news and links to all sorts of resources and goodies- follow him on facebook for even more info.


Marksdailyapple.com - Mark Sisson's primal approach (close to paleo and great blog/community)


Robbwolf.com - Great resources from a research biochemist and author of the Paleo Solution- also an all around. If you're into the science of it check out his info filled podcast.


Undergroundwellness.com - not exactly paleo- but a great source of all sorts of good nutrition and lifestyle info- and better yet Sean has a superb Podcast!


chowstalker.com - FOOD! - nummy recipes


nomnompaleo.com- more FOOD!


Primal-palate.com -Even more FOOD!  (I think you get what drives me in life- good FOOD! :)


Hope these links prove useful- I'm looking forward to spending more time on this site- it looks like a great community! :)


post #14 of 237
I am so sick of being in the kitchen as it reminds me of all the food I cannot eat. But deep down inside I love to cook. I have been frying up lots of chicken and eating it cold whenever and cold cooked sweet potatoes like bananas for the kiddos. Eggs simply for breakfast, lots of beans cooked and frozen in 2 cup portions. I do find cooking a lot simpler when just eating a piece of fried meat and a steamed veggie.
post #15 of 237

do you have a good recipe for fried chicken bluebird? I love it, but never have much luck making it!

we have a very expensive budget as well. It is so unfortunate that food that is good for you is unaffordable for a lot of budgets. We buy organic as much as possible, but I find it especially hard when it comes to meats. Therefore we eat a mostly vegetables, fruits, eggs, yogurt, diet.

We are trying to eliminate all grains. Personally, I don't see a reason for any grains aside from easy fiber and yumminess. 

post #16 of 237

I started my grain-free journey sometime in January or February (already can't remember). I keep falling off the wagon for stupid reasons, and regretting it. Visiting my parents was one - I just could not handle the sheer FIGHT of being grain-free for a week there. It's early April but I still haven't settled into a pattern of eating. I've stopped cooking, since all my recipes involve grain of some sort. Grain is cheap, and we don't have a lot of money, so I'm constantly stumped on what to eat that isn't a fortune. I'm currently still ahem "processing" my latest grain mistake - 4 or 5 days ago.


My DD has eating issues, she's too skinny and barely eats anything, and her muscle tone is way too low. So I'm talking to DH about trying HER on grain free, but grain is practically all she eats. I don't know how to handle this. I am more willing than DH to be hard-core and figure she'll come around in a few days after going hungry, but I'm not willing to actually go against DH to do it. (Not that I really could, anyway, he will just feed her himself). He is on board to throw out the cereal again, though, which I convinced him to do in the past (and it took a lot to convince him, because cereal was practically all she would eat). Operation No Cereal was a success, and after some adjustments we noticed DD was willing to eat more of a variety of foods and types. I mean, she was still super finicky, but we still noticed a positive difference.


Let's see... I just bought a couple packages of Nori sheets at Wild Oats. It was on sale for, like, half off. Because it's Japanese. I could buy the stuff from Maine for $6.95 for a pack of 8, or the stuff from Japan for $3.95 for a pack of 10. It was agony for me to decide, but I chose the Japanese stuff and got two packages. I figured, what are the odds that this stuff is even that fresh? It was probably processed over a month ago, right? But now I've noticed the price sticker says 3-22, which makes me think the store received it on March 22. And makes me think, maybe it WAS in Japan only a couple weeks ago. I probably should have got the stuff from Maine, but it's like I don't have the money for either one anyway.


Last item for me to report is good news. I've been exercising steadily, good stuff. Oh, there's been a couple of unscheduled "take it easy" days (yesterday was one) but even then, I did do SOMETHING - I speed-walked up a very steep hill and got my heart going. I WANTED to, that was the crazy thing. Like, I asked my DH to let me out of the car and he met me at the top. Is that nuts?? DH was similar, he came home and started doing a strenuous yard task. He wanted to. Oh, and now I am able to take off my jeans without unbuttoning them. I don't think I'm losing any weight anymore (after a very quick 8 or 10 pound drop within the first week) but clearly the composition of my body is changing for the better, and clearly I was carrying around a lot of sludge before. Of course, right now, I'm carrying around some again from my last mistake. I gotta remember and be disciplined!!!

post #17 of 237
Thread Starter 

Welcome desertsnail!!!  Your 2 cents is definitely welcomed and appreciated here. I can't wait to look through all those great links.  Some I've heard of but haven't explored.  This is only my 2nd week of (mostly) grain-free.  I'm still definitely a newbie. 


And yes, I keep flubbing myself.  Oatmeal is my downfall since it's easy and we have lots in the house.  We have certified GF oatmeal but I can't process it.  Soaking it helps but I'm not disciplined enough yet to soak.  We do eat brown rice.  Yes, it's a grain.  But everyone in the house has an easy time with it including myself so it's staying. 


Yea for exercise laohaire!!!  I haven't exercised since the kidlets were born and I'm taking jogging up again.  It makes me feel good and I'm glad to get moving again.  My DH is a former marathoner/ century ride cyclist and he hasn't exercised since kidlets either.  He's joining me!!!  Hooray for DH!  I haven't lost weight but I've lost bloating.  I went around so bloated from the GF starches.  My mood has improved too and I'm relying less on the amazingly expensive supplements from the book The Mood Cure.  Not buying supplements will surely cut down on food cost since I put them in the food budget. 


My DH makes good chicken.  He stirfry's it in cast-iron with ghee (not dairy free but casein/lactose free).  Yesterday he made a recipe TDF.  Caramelized red onions and a Moroccan sauce.  Caramelizing onions on cast-iron is THE best.  I had it on the menu for two days ago but I'm really bad at following the menu I make.  Tonight is turkey breast and roasted broccoli.  The turkey will then be used to make stock.  A turkey breast is about $12 and I get about 3-4 meals from it, plus stock. 


I truly love using cast-iron.  I have 5 different cast iron skillets/pots/dutchovens/griddles and love them all.  Since DS tends to be anemic it makes me feel better that I can get a little extra iron in his diet just from cooking. 

post #18 of 237


A turkey breast is about $12 and I get about 3-4 meals from it, plus stock.


Can you tell me how you are stretching it so far?  I am having a hard time with this!  I really need to stretch things further.  Part of the issue is DH liking A LOT of meat.  He'll pick extra chicken out of soup and hardly take any broth.  angry.gif

post #19 of 237
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by CoBabyMaker View Post



Can you tell me how you are stretching it so far?  I am having a hard time with this!  I really need to stretch things further.  Part of the issue is DH liking A LOT of meat.  He'll pick extra chicken out of soup and hardly take any broth.  angry.gif

I looked at the turkey breast we are cooking tonight.  7.5 lbs at $1.99/lb so it was $14.93.  Turkey is something I don't buy organic and we buy Norbest brand.  It's one of my fudges away from our organic/probably raised meat.  But I have to cut ourselves a slack somewhere. 


I feed a family of 4.  DH, me, DD (5), and DS (4).  The first meal is the big one but we stretch it out with brown rice cooked in homemade stock.  This is my grain allowance and cooking it in stock makes it VERY filling and satisfying.  So I suppose that wouldn't work on a 100% grain free or paleo diet.  It also will be stretched out with the yummiest roasted broccoli ever.  Prior to me giving up starches my DH would make a gravy with the drippings by just adding cornstarch to them.  I'll tell you what he comes up with tonight (obviously I married a chef).  After the meal we throw in the bones to the pressure cooker with veggies and water with a few spices and a bay leaf.  This is our stock and we get 3-4 quarts.  We eat half the breast for dinner or slightly less than half.  The rest is saved.  The next day we will have turkey for lunch.  For lunch we eat smaller amounts of meat so we may be able to get 2 lunches out of the meat.  I used to make turkey sandwiches but I can't have bread so I'm not sure what we are going to do.  Maybe turkey salad and the kidlets can have the sandwich.  DH isn't usually around for lunch which helps with the stretching.  The last wee bits of turkey left over gets used for turkey soup using the broth we just made. 


post #20 of 237
Thread Starter 

To add to my previous post:  DH made an AWESOME gravy.  He cooked the turkey breast in ghee, water, and Rascal Pinot Gris.  He then took the drippings and heated them in a saucepan with some garfava flour that was hiding in my cupboard.  Oh so good..............


On a downside though either the garfava flour bloated me or the rice.  :(  I'm still experimenting with what makes me feel so bad.  It's a work in progress.  The better I feel the easier it is to tell when something disagrees with me. 

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